Thursday, July 08, 2010

Ten Things To (Dis)Like About Cats

  1. I've never had a cat who would sleep facing my back. All of the cats I've known insist on facing me in bed. I sometimes make a game of waiting until Bob is settled and then I flip over to face the other direction. Each time, he sighs, gets up laboriously and moves around to my other side. Of course, I then flip back. When he's had enough of the game, he reaches a paw out to tap my cheek. I can almost hear the words: "Do it again, and the claws come out."

  2. Cats are flexible. Before my surgery last year, I removed the screen from the bedroom window closest to my bed. When Bob asked to go out, I'd lean over and open the window for him. He very quickly learned to stand next to the window and howl when he wanted out. He also began jumping up on the window sill outside to howl when he wanted back inside.

  3. Cats can be very innovative. Bob decided that, since I could let him go outside with a minimum of effort, if he took a notion to go prowling at 3 AM, I should just reach across and open the window. This inventive approach did not have a happy outcome.

  4. Cats like routines. Bob had a particular flavor of Fancy Feast (Sliced Beef) that he loved. He ate it every day.

  5. Cats don't like cheap roommates. Shortly after I bought 24 cans of Fancy Feast Sliced Beef on sale, he suddenly decided he'd like to experiment on a different flavor.

  6. Cats communicate well. Bob left his daily dish of Fancy Feast untouched for several days in a row to indicate that he was ready to experiment with a new flavor.

  7. Cats are better than an alarm clock. At about two minutes before my alarm goes off every morning, Bob begins to purr. If by some chance, I've set the alarm for later than usual, he purrs for several minutes before upping the ante. Because he knows I will be VERY unfriendly if he whines or complains, his new strategy is to lean over and--as if overcome by devotion--he licks an exposed body part of mine. Just one little swipe of that sandpapery tongue, and then he waits to see if that was enough to get me up. If not, he repeats as needed.

  8. Cats love a challenge. Early one morning, I watched from my bay window as Bob slinked across the blacktop road outside my house, moving so slowly he looked like black roadkill. When he disappeared below the other side of the road, I thought he might be stalking a vole or mouse. However, when his ears popped up again, I realized he was making a stealthy approach on my neighbor's property. In the time it took me to locate my robe (I was wearing a slinky nightgown), he'd found a place where he could slip under my neighbor's fence. Realizing he had decided to try his hand at nabbing a chicken, I ran for the front door. I raced down my front stairs to see Bob sneaking up on a white hen. Suddenly, an enraged rooster came flapping toward the intruder, screaming a challenge. In one smooth move, Bob leaped straight into the air, turned, landed on a fence post and jumped out of the yard. He didn't stop until he met me on the front walk where he began to saunter, pretending he didn't hear the rooster's rage behind him.

  9. Cats anticipate. As we walk through my house, Bob takes point. He slows down at each door in the hall and looks over his shoulder for a signal as to which room I am headed toward. When I turn, he turns so that he'll be there ahead of me.

  10. Cats love to share. During July and August, I love fresh peach ice cream. A couple of times a week, I'll forego dinner and substitute a dish of ice cream. On the nights I don't prepare dinner, Bob stretches out in front of the refrigerator, waiting for me to open the freezer. When I prepare my dish of ice cream, he follows me around, whining for his share. I give him a dab no larger than the tip of my small finger and he purrs while he licks it up.

Rub your pet's head for me today.


Sharon said...

Done. We didn't think we'd ever have another cat until Leo found us in October 2008. Can't imagine life without his need for routine or his reminders about food, water, clean litter, and time outdoors. Each cat a unique creature, give Bob a chin scratch for me.

Maya Reynolds said...

Thanks, Sharon. Just gave Bob that chin scratch.